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History society's 'Remembering Lost Redditch' website goes live
11:40am Thursday 7th February 2013 in News
THE Redditch Local History Society (RLHS) is committed to the investigation, documentation and publication of data about the history and heritage of the town.
As part of its campaign to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the designation of Redditch as a new town, the society has just gone live with its 'Remembering Lost Redditch' website at www.redditchheritage.org.uk.
Society spokesman Derek Coombes said: “The designation of Redditch as a new town brought fundamental changes to the area, none more so than in the town centre. Whole streets were lost in the rebuilding of the town centre and those residents with first hand memories of these streets are reducing year by year.
“Many residents today, including myself, have no memories of what we are calling 'Lost Redditch' and so the society is keen to ensure we record the history of the town as it was. By making these links with our past we believe we can encourage a sense of belonging and community in the town today.
“There are several excellent books which publish photographs of the area from years gone by but what we are attempting is specifically focused on the streets lost to redevelopment in the 1970s and the residents who lived and worked in these communities.”
For the last year, RLHS has been collecting and cataloguing who lived where and what they did from census records, trade directories and other records from local historians and the initial results appear on the website.
To complement this, the society is also collecting photographs, memorabilia and memories for local residents to help bring this data to life.
Mr Coombes added: “Although the site is now live, there is still more data to collects and more information to publish. What we need is photographs, artefacts, personal stories and memories. Talk to any original Redditch resident over 50 and they will recall shopping in Evesham Street, perhaps going to the Methodist Chapel or even working in one of the many factories in the area. With these we create an interactive view of lost Redditch which residents can explore, learn from and enjoy."
On March 16, the RLHS is holding an open session at Redditch Library from 10am-4pm when residents can attend and contribute to the project.
Members will be showing photographs and asking residents to help identify them, will be collecting memories and copying photographs to add to the photo galleries.
Also supporting the exhibition at the library will be the Palace Theatre, which is collecting memories of the theatre as part of the 100th anniversary events, and the Jestaminute Community Theatre group, which is working with RLHS on ‘An Oral History of the Industrial Heritage of Redditch 1939-1964’.
For more details, or to contribute, call Mr Coombes on 01527 404365 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.